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Popular Music Appreciation

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					The Young New Zealanders' Challenge                                         Skills Section
of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award



Preface
Participants, instructors and assessors should take note of the conditions as laid down in the
Award Handbook.

This programme is for guidance and is not to be taken as a rigid syllabus. To indicate the
content appropriate to young people with varying degrees of knowledge and experience, it is
arranged under three headings: ‘For beginners’, ‘For those with some knowledge’ and
‘For the more advanced’, and participants are free to select as broad or as restricted an
aspect of this skill as they wish, but appropriate social and cultural aspects are to be
covered.

MUSIC                                                  POPULAR MUSIC APPRECIATION

Introduction

The work for Popular Music Appreciation should cover a study under three headings -
general, particular and practical - and these three parts should relate to each other.

For Assessment: evidence of individual progress, sustained interest and a commitment
of genuine leisure time should be shown over the required period. This may take the form
of a presentation, project, folio or display. Group activities are to be assessed with regard
to each individual’s contribution to planning, execution and completion.


For beginners
Participants starting this activity should:

1      Make a critical study of the development of popular music through the various eras
       leading up to the present day. They should be able to give approximate dates for
       these eras ( e.g. Swing, Ragtime, Skiffle, Folk, Reggae, Punk, Rock, Rap, House
       etc.) and should know the names of the personalities associated with the various
       trends.

2      Be able to make out a balanced half- hour programme of records popular at any
       one particular time, e.g. the 20’s, during the war years, post - war, present day,
             etc.

3      Make a study of the effects the current popular form has on the public and in
       particular the teenage public.

4      Form opinions on possible future trends, and be able to explain reasons for these
       opinions.


For those with some knowledge
Participants should:

5      Make a critical study of the current presentation of popular music on television and
       radio and suggest possible improvements for the programme concerned. If
                                              Page 1
The Young New Zealanders' Challenge                                       Skills Section
of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award


      possible visit a broadcasting studio when live pop music programme is being
      broadcast.

6     Draw up three programmes of records lasting approximately thirty minutes to
      appeal to each of the following groups:

      a)    a strictly teenage audience
      b)    a 20-35 year old section
      c)    the whole family

      If possible participants should try out one of these suggested programmes before
      an invited audience of the required age group.

7     Study how the various hit parade charts are compiled, and in particular the reasons
      why there are such differences between the charts published in the various trade
      papers. Participants should form an opinion on which papers have the most
      reliable hit parades, and should be able to give reasons for their opinion.

8     Study what most influences the popularity of a record with the buying public, e.g.
      radio, disc jockey, television presentation, advertising, etc.

9     Make a detailed study of any one chosen celebrity famous either as a writer, singer
      or instrumentalist, who is considered to be an outstanding exponent of any
      particular popular music form. The study should include knowledge of the
      celebrity’s life history and the factors contributing towards his/her individual
      professional success, of the musical form with which he/she is particularly
      associated, and the effects of his/her influence on current and subsequent musical
      trends


For the more advanced
Participants should:

10    Study the standard of journalism in pop music papers, their standard of criticism,
      and their reliability, e.g. papers which report facts without bias.

11    Study the differences in sound between English and American records or other
      world forces in music, e.g. the English big band sound, and the Nashville sound.
      Note also particular characteristics of records made in other foreign countries, and
      the recording techniques used to produce these sounds, e.g. varying degrees of
      echo.

12    Write an explanation of current musical forms and their effects suitable for
      publishing in Journal. This should be assessed by someone who is aware of
      current trends.

13.   Study:
      a)     the ways in which various top artists have received training and preliminary
             experience for their profession

                                          Page 2
The Young New Zealanders' Challenge                                        Skills Section
of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award


     (b)    the outlook for potential musicians of the future, particularly instrumentalists,
            (e.g. trumpet players, saxophone players, violinists, etc.) taking into
            consideration the decline of big band music

14   Consider the purely commercial aspect of pop music and study the degree of
     exploitation of records, the possibilities of over exploitation, and its effects, adverse
     or otherwise, on record sales.
                                                                                          1994




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